It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to attempt lawyers for corporate law a start-up without the help of a corporate lawyer. After all, money is tight at the beginning and any wise entrepreneur will try to stretch his capital as far as it will go. No one wants to go back to the original investors and ask for more. That said, every business – from a fledgling startup to an established corporation – can benefit from legal advice. Here are some of the reasons your business may need the assistance of an attorney and what you should look for when hiring one.
The most oft-repeated reason a business owner will give you when you ask him why he doesn’t hire a corporate lawyer is that it costs too much money. While attorneys can be expensive, the choice not to hire one can be even more so. Make a bad business deal without consulting an attorney and your company could feel the financial ramifications for years to come. Most startups don’t have the luxury of making a bad decision like that in the beginning. You don’t want to be forced into hiring an attorney after the fact; if you have one at the outset, you can avoid the costly litigation that sometimes comes after making a bad legal decision.
You can’t separate the business dealings of a company from the legal entanglements it involves you in. Every single thing you do as a business owner has to be within the law and, hopefully, advantageous to your goals. Take hiring employees, for instance. Every state has laws governing how your can hire people, what you must pay them, and the hours they can work. Federal laws are in place as well. No business owner can know them all, but if you break those laws you could end up losing everything. This stretches to a wide variety of legal issues you may be involved in: licensing, intellectual property, and contracts of any kind. If you don’t have a corporate lawyer helping you take these steps, you could easily make a costly mistake.
Hiring a Corporate Lawyer
Of course, making the decision that you need legal representation is only half the battle. Now you have to go out and find one. You’ll soon find that not all of them are created equally. Here are some things to look for when hiring. You want experience, first and foremost. Next, you want a firm that will give your company the personal attention you deserve for your money. If you sense you’re just going to become another number, look elsewhere. Hiring a corporate lawyer isn’t cheap, and you should be able to count on excellent communication when you hire someone.